In May 23 IssueBy Derek AaronRussell County News Editor
The Jamestown Church of the Nazarene completed their Caravan scouting journey Wednesday night at the church with inflatables for the children and a cookout for the kids and their families, according to Bro. Jamie McCormack.
The Caravan takes place each Wednesday evening during the school year and is for children two years of age through the 6th grade.
“We’ve had probably close to 80 or 90 kids register and come at different times throughout the year,” McCormack said.
“Tonight is just a big celebration for them.”
McCormack said he had a challenge on the table that if 100 children showed up, he would shave of his goatee, something he hadn’t done in a decade.
“That’s been their goal all year and I think they may be pretty close tonight,” he said. McCormack said that an awards ceremony and a cookout will be held on Sunday for the children to officially be honored with sashes and awards in front of their families for completing the Caravan.
“They earn badges much like the scouting program where they can get cooking badges, camping badges, bicycle badges and safety badges but they also can get the ‘I believe’ badge which explains what we believe as Christians and different books of the Bible so it is scouting but with a spiritual emphasis, too,” he said.
Under the direction of an adult children’s director, Robin Rigney, and helpers, children learn skills and abilities to help them develop as God planned, both physically, socially, mentally and spiritually.
Each child’s journey and accomplishments are marked by earning badges that they can display on their clothing.
“Every week they do a lot of singing and those sorts of things,” he said.
“The badges and the program tries to help the kids in every area.”
He said the program was a great community outreach program aimed at getting children in church.
“We feed the kids every Wednesday and provide a hot meal for them and I think that is a ministry too, just knowing that the kids will be getting a good meal.”
McCormack said the safe and fun environment was also one that taught the children life lessons and how to treat yourself and others.
“We want them to know that they can have fun at church too,” he said.
“We can’t expect kids to come and sit with their hands in their lap and listen to a lesson. We have a time for fun but we also have a time that we sit down and teach them a lesson.”
Rigney said the church’s Caravan averaged between 40 and 50 attendees each Wednesday night.
“We have as many as 90 on actual enrollment,” she said. “We usually start the Caravan with a grand opening each week and then end with a big finale.”
By the looks Wednesday on the children’s faces, they can’t wait for the Caravan to begin again in the fall.